Do more.

I really don’t mean to always bring Casey Neistat quotes into my blog posts, promise.

But, the famous “Do more” tattoo on his arm that is written in his very own trademarkable handwriting speaks some truth, we can’t ignore.

For the past year or so, I have felt much better. Much, much better. Better than I have felt in almost a decade (more on this later). So with feeling much better, I took a journey of self-discovery, healthy living and finding purpose and meaning in the things I choose to immerse myself with. Deep, I know.

This journey of self-discovery has led me to spend quite some time in self-help books, blogs, motivational videos etc, etc. For the first time in almost 10 years, I was not merely just getting through each day in survival mode but I could actually (dare I say it) enjoy, experience and live in each moment of that day.

All this self-reflection and self-help books are great. They get you thinking. I started thinking, a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. And, as I sit here now, in the last couple of weeks my thinking has led to this… Okay. Enough talk. This is what you came here for.

Do more (again).

Thinking is a good start but without action, it is a waste.

We can not move forward without action. If you have an idea or motivation to do something. Do it. Try it at least.

Today is all we had, now it is gone. Start putting things in action that matter to you as soon as you can. We are constantly feeding ourselves excuses of why we should wait, or give up on that thing we wanted to start. I am a pretty poor blogger/writer(in my mind anyway) and heck. Here I am.

Failure is almost a guarantee.  If we are not failing, we are not progressing.

Just do something. Get the ball rolling. Everyone starts at zero and works their way up from there.  If you make one phone call for that important thing, it is one phone call more than zero. You may have failed at the end of that call but at least now, you can review the call. Make changes. Try again.

We fear not being good enough. Newsflash, we all are not good enough. That person who you look up to who achieved that thing that you admire? They did not just wake up and fall into the position they are currently in. No way.  They had a thought, showed up and started working.

Maybe their original idea was something completely different to what they do now. Just think, if they did not try to take action on their original idea, they may never have gotten to where they are now.

This is not some ‘motivational’ post to inspire you. This is me, talking to myself. To do more.

Not for financial gain or fame. But for the chance to live the best life I can possibly live.

When I was 19, I started an automotive internet business with a friend. We needed a brochure. I went to another friend and asked him for a freebie brochure. He sat me down in front of my laptop, handed me a copy of Macromedia Freehand and said: “You make it”. I loved it, so became a graphic designer. Years past and I started my own freelance graphic design business. I need a website. Heard about WordPress, decided to give it a go.

I now work for Paid Memberships Pro as a Customer Support/Designer/Marketer/Content Creator.

Before the automotive internet business. I was studying to become a welding inspector. Man, I am glad I answered the call when a friend of a friend said: “Hey Trav, want to start a business?”

Do more. You never know where you will end up.

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Blog more.

I recently watched Seth Godin, in an interview where he highlighted the importance of blogging. Daily. Yup, I know…

Now, one of my overall and somewhat vague goals for 2018 was to “Blog more“. At the beginning of the year, I kind of had a bit of an idea as to why I wanted to publish more blogs and as the months rolled out, more and more reasons pilled up and this in this interview, Seth Godin mentioned that blogging is one of top 5 best career decisions he ever made. He went on to say:

“Even if no one read it. I would blog every day, I think everyone should do so.” – Seth Godin

The thinking behind this is that if we blog every day, we are naturally placed in a position where we will form opinions, thoughts and “thoughtful examination of (our) World. You can’t help but get better at whatever it is you seek to do.”


Image result for do more casey neistat
Do more – Casey Neistat

My initial reason for wanting to blog (do) more in 2018 was to become better at writing. I write every single day as a Customer Support Engineer at Paid Memberships Pro and at the moment blog weekly or even bi-weekly for PMPro (see some blogs I have recently written here), so the importance of effective written communication has certainly moved up on my skills-to-improve priority list 🙂

I am also a notoriously lazy editor and a poor speller – another great TWO reasons to blog more.

But like, daily. That’s a bit hectic. Isn’t it?

Truth be told, I can already tell you that although one of my ‘mentors from afar’ encourages daily blogging, I just don’t see myself committing to daily blogging.

Regular blogging, sure. (By the way a friend of mine Dwain, wrote a blog post on “How to Blog Regularly – Here”)

In addition to blogging more, I have also revved up my reading list and have started keeping a daily ‘regular’ journal and am chipping away at creating habit creation.

Some reasons why you (and I) should blog more.

  • Improved written English communication skills. Tip – use and learn from  Grammarly
  • Leave a thought trail – in some ways, it is much like journalling which helps bring clarity to your thoughts.
  • Improves trustworthiness. You are taking a leap and opening yourself up to others. This can have an amazing effect (or is it affect – my nemesis) on peoples view of you.
  • A thoughtful examination of our world will lead to improvement and progression in that which we seek to become good at.

If not now, when? If not you, who?

A great quote that comes to mind every now and again. It reminds me that ideas are nice but ideas with action are much, much better.

So this is me, doing more, by blogging more. Even if no one reads it 🙂

 

The Lazy (meh) Portfolio

Over the next few weeks, I hope to take Chris Do’s advice and really spice up my portfolio. Chris Do is a fascinating ‘mentor at a distance’ of mine whose advice he gives really resonates with me.

He advises for designers to actually (wait for it, this may seem pretty darn obvious but in practice – yeah, not so much..) put effort into their portfolio designs. I know. Stupidly obvious, but alas, there is something that happens in our designer brain that once we save the final version of that logo for a client, we’re done.

Well, no more lazy designer brain! I am going to put an effort in my portfolio pieces from now on and use them to not only show a glimpse of some fancy design work but to use them, to tell a story. Arguably one of the most underrated and difficult things to do.

Not for money, or fame or the infamous “Likes” that subconsciously validate our self-worth. No, this is my journey to make things that I am proud to share. To make things that spark emotion to those who see it (if anyone).

As Seth Godin said once in an interview: “Leave a trail that you’d be proud of.” and that is exactly what I intend to do.

If you want to see the current state of my average portfolio, go ahead! No need to “Like” anything, but, if you would spare some time to give me some input/feedback on my work no matter how brief, I would highly appreciate it – you’ll be helping me get better!

Dribbble | Behance

Find your passion

We are lucky enough to live in a time where we no longer need to just ‘get a job’ and show up each day to work in a factory, eat our lunch, go home and start the process all over again.

No. Not us. We are likely to be the first generation to quite literally have the world at our fingertips. I heard an interesting fact (or seemingly factual statement made by someone who seemed rather convincing) that most middle-class westerners live better than some Kings did a good couple of years ago. This is beside the point but just let that little nugget sink in for a minute.

The problem with finding your passion.

As a “millennial” I have been told that it is really important to find my purpose, my passion, my calling in life. I have been told that there is an ‘oceanic’ universe-halting moment that I will experience when I find that one thing I was destined to do with my life.  Now, if you are like me, there was not one person who took the time to sit me down and tell me these ‘truths’. Instead, it is something that I have picked up in the most subtle way through (mainly) digital media; things like advertising, movies, magazine ads, and even story books.

Social Media? Well now. Social media is in a class of its own. We have gotten so used to constantly being distracted that each moment we have, where we are not doing something, we return like moths to a flame to the blue glow of our smartphones. We fill ourselves with others stories, others that are all doing so ‘well’, but I digress.

Truth be told, I think I have bought into this “finding your passion” thing for most of my life. Until one day, I realized that this searching for my place in the universe actually had the opposite effect on me and that was a sort of overwhelmed procrastination. I would often find myself, over-thinking ideas, turning away opportunities that I tried for some time but just wasn’t “feeling it” and overall just having a feeling of uncertainty and overwhelmingness that would just leave me, stalling. Doing nothing. Not trying or trying to little.

I should have put a disclaimer out earlier but these ideas are my own and I do not mean to put down any self-improvement endeavors or dreamers out there who want to aspire to do great things.

This blog post is more of an “Ah-Ha” moment for me, where I discovered that in order to actually find my passion is to stop searching for it. By doing so, the pressure of finding this mythical experience becomes much, much less and it allows me to take action and try things. Stick opportunities out a bit longer and put some effort in, even when I am not “feeling it”.

Maybe you are like me, maybe not. Whether you have all your ducks in a row or are still figuring things out. I want to encourage you to just do something. If we continue to do, we will continue to progress, when we progress in something, we get better in that area and enjoy it more. I am paraphrasing here, but these are some (similar) words from Mark Cuban.

So here is to us. Let us take action and do things and by doing, find things that make us happy. Love the journey, not the destination.

 

Live for the now. NOW!

Below is a blog post from a friend of mine – Dwain Maralack. 

I previously heard about this Mexican fisherman parable from Simon Sinek, whilst watching one of his YouTube Videos.
This parable resonates with me deeply. It takes very little effort to get swept up in this, always living for the future and never living (truly) for the now.

Does this mean, we should not save for a rainy day, keep learning, work hard and strive for a better life for us and our families? Absolutely not. There is no “honor” in laziness and carelessness but, as soon as we start missing the “now” and we get stressed up, “too busy” for everyday important things like spending time with our family, something needs to change #perspective

Read the Story here – https://dwain.blog/2018/03/14/is-enough-enough/

 

When is enough enough? How long are we delaying our lives as we struggle for someone else’s picture of perfection? How many more years should we put into building a fortune, for our old age? We all need to read the story below na make up our one minds. The Mexican Fisherman and the Investment…

via Is enough, enough? — Dwain Maralack

Dribbble Debut Shot

Today, I finally decided to get my debut Dribbble shot out to the Dribbble community.  For most, it is really no big deal, but as I mentioned in my Achievement unlocked blog post towards the end of last year to be a player in the game of Dribbble, you need to be invited by another ‘player’. A player who deems your design skills worthy to join this ‘elite’ social network of arguably the best designers in the world.

Dribbble Debut Shot
My Dribbble debut shot

A debut shot, is the first shot or image upload that gets placed in the debut category, where all designers can go welcome the newbies. It is exciting how the team at Dribbble have set up the ‘Debut’ feature because you basically get ‘one shot’ to make your mark. The image above was my final design. Literally after weeks of scanning the net for inspiration on to create the perfect shot. I realized that it would be best to stick with what I know and that is layout or Product design.

After the dust has settled. I learned that you should not let any ‘title’ or achievement or status define you. Be happy with who you are and challenge yourself. Do not compare yourself to others but embrace your weaknesses and own your strengths. Live life to the fullest and enjoy the journey.

After receiving my sorely sought after Dribbble invite, I made it! I won! I did it! Finally… But you know what? I went to bed that night and still woke up the same person the following day. Make goals, improve your life, keep learning but don’t let those goals define you.

If you want to see my first debut in the wild (currently sitting on 11 12 likes ), click here.

2017 a Winner of a Year!

Before January comes to an end. I wanted to write a short blog post of why 2017 was one of the best years of my life.

Here is a list of things I did in 2017 (worth mentioning):

  • Finally. Made Progress with my GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
  • Climbed Table Mountain
  • Bought my first MackBook Pro
  • Travelled to a new continent (Australia)
  • Travelled the Garden Route
  • Took up Mountain Biking
  • Completed a grueling (at least for me) 45km MTB Race.
  • Landed a dream remote job.
  • Attended 2x WordCamps
  • Involved in organising 2x WordCamps
  • Did a WordCamp Talk
  • Launched a WordPress Plugin
  • Got 5 new WordPress.org badges.
  • Launched my new website
  • Got into a morning routine
  • Regular Gym
  • Walked the Tsitsikama Bridge
  • Sang in front of 450 people
  • Played music in a band in front of a live audience
  • Got involved where it mattered
  • Made new friends
  • Hung out more with my family
  • Climbed the tallest building in town to put up a WiFi tower.
  • Saw a Koala Bear
  • Touched a Kangaroo
  • Saw the Sydney Opera House
  • Got a Dribbble invite
  • Extensive South African Travels.

What I learned in 2017

  • I love entrepreneurship.
  • Helping people and others heal you. It takes you out of your own problems and once you are out of them. You see how small they actually are.
  • Do things for people around you.
  • Anxiety is a totally false perceived reality
  • You can do WAY more than when you think you can. When you think you’re done, you are only 40% in.
  •  Video Editing, Sound Recording and Tutorial making
  • It doesn’t matter what you feel. It matters what you decide.
  • Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything.
  • Norwegian (in Progress).
  • You can be SO BUSY with all the wrong, insignificant things. Do things that help you get to your goals as quickly and effectively as possible.

Looking forward to 2018